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Denis Donoghue

Professor Emeritus of English

University Professor and Henry James Professor of English and American Letters; Department of English. B.A. (1949), M.A. (1952), Ph.D (1957) and D.Litt. (honoris causa),1989 (National University of Ireland), M.A. 1964 (University of Cambridge).

Office Address: 

Ireland House, 1 Wash Mews, 2 Fl New York, New York (US) 10003


(212) 998-3954


(212) 995-4373

Areas of Research/Interest: 

Modern English, Irish, and American Literature; aesthetics and the practice on reading

External Affiliations:

International Association of University Professors of English; Association of Literary Scholars and Teachers.


Denis Donoghue’s teaching and writing engage modern English, Irish and American literature, and the aesthetics and practices of reading. Recent books include Words Alone: The Poet T.S. Eliot (Yale 2000), Adam's Curse: Reflections on Literature and Religion (Notre Dame 2001), Speaking of Beauty (Yale 2004), The American Classics (Yale 2005) and On Eloquence (Yale 2008).


Elected Chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Nominating Committee, and Publications Advisory Board of the Academy. American Council of Learned Societies. Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. National Humanities Center. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. British Academy. Royal Irish Academy.

The Third Voice: Modern British and American Verse Drama. Princeton University Press, 1959.
Connoisseurs of Chaos: Ideas of Order in Modern American Poetry. Macmillan, 1965. Second edition. Columbia University Press, 1984.
The Ordinary Universe: Soundings in Modern Literature. London: Faber and Faber. New York. Macmillan, 1968.
Jonathan Swift: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge University Press, 1969.
Emily Dickinson. University of Minnesota Press, 1969.
Editor: Jonathan Swift: A Critical Anthology. Penguin Books, 1971.
William Butler Yeats. London: Fontana . New York: Viking Press, 1971.
Editor: W. B. Yeats: Memoirs Autobiography: First Draft. London and New York: Macmillan, 1971.
Imagination. (The W. P. Ker Lecture) University of Glasgow Press, 1974.
Thieves of Fire: The Promethean Imagination. (The T. S. Eliot Lectures at te University of Kent at Canterbury)  London: Faber ad Faber. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
Editor: Seven American Poets. University of Minnesota Press, 1975.
The Sovereign Ghost: Studies in Imagination. University of California Press, 1976. Faber and Faber, 1978.
Editor: Poems of R.P.Blackmur. Princeton University Press, 1978.
Ferocious Alphabets. London: Faber and Faber. Boston: Little,Brown, 1981.
The Arts without Mystery. (The Reith Lectures, BBC, 1982) London: BBC Publications, 1983. New York: Little,Brown 1983.
We Irish: Essays on Irish Literature and Society. University of California Press. December 1988.
Reading America: Essays on American Literature. University of California Press. December 1988.
England, Their England: Commentaries on English Language and Literature. New York. 1988.
Warrenpoint. Syracuse University Press. November 1994.
Being Modern Together. Scholars Pr. July 1991.
The Pure Good of Theory. Blackwell Publishers. May 1992.
The Old Moderns: Essays on Literature and Theory. 1980.
Walter Pater:Lover of Strange Souls. New York: Knopf. 1995.
The Practice of Reading. Yale. 1988.
Words Alone: The Poet T.S.Eliot. Yale University Press. June 2000.
Adam's Curse: Reflections on Literature and Religion. University of Notre Dame Press. May 2001.
Speaking of Beauty. Yale University Press. August 2004.
The American Classics. Yale University Press May 2005.
On Eloquence.
Updated on 09/09/2015